Ann Parker is a graphic designer by training but found it difficult to connect with technology. On a whim, she took a ceramics class one semester at Towson University where she received her undergraduate degree. She found a passion in the simple concept of creating functional items with her own two hands. There was also a sense of accomplishment in making something utilitarian, out of natural materials. Fast forward a year and a half, and she hadn’t touched clay again. The recent college grad landed a graphic design internship at a non-profit ceramics studio (Baltimore Clayworks) and was lucky enough to be granted access to its equipment. In October of 2015, her love for pottery was officially rekindled, and by the following summer, she had built her very own home studio.
It’s not an uncommon story — the designer or tech expert longing to work with his or her hands — but few turn the hobby into a successful business as Parker has. Ann Margaret Ceramics is a surprisingly cohesive and beautiful modern line of pottery, especially at only a year old. Parker’s use of gold glaze and bold graphics gives a modern twist to her traditional methods of throwing, and her more traditional pieces (chunky mugs with asymmetrical glaze dips and warming natural colors) are the antithesis of a cold, impersonal computer screen. It is easy to see the allure, and nice to see the finished product!
The artist is earning rave reviews from her sales on Etsy, as well as emerging as a wholesaler to gift stores in the area (B. Willow in Baltimore, and others in DC and LA). In a climate where we are relying more and more on technology — not to mention the mass produced — it is lovely to see a new line like hers thriving. Parker recently posted a photo of her wares on Instagram. They shine in a sunny and timeless room full of plants, pots, and light. She is a visionary who has found her calling and a product that’s found its element. While she currently works part-time creating displays for retailers like Anthropologie, Parker is building her business toward running it full-time.
Will it bring home the bacon as easily as a graphic design gig? Maybe not…but the bacon will always be easy to serve with such beautiful wares.